Love is too weak a word for what I feel – I luuurve you, you know, I loave you, I luff you, two F’s, yes I have to invent, of course I – I do, don’t you think I do?
500 Days of Summer is the new Annie Hall. There, I said it. And why not? Both movie are about nervous guys in sweater vests who are romantically involved with quirky “it-girls”, there are scenes when fantasy mixes with reality (cartoons, dance numbers, etc.) and in the end, both lose the girl and learn a lot in the process. That was pretty much the first thing I thought of upon exiting the theater a few months ago when I saw it. If anything, 500 Days was the movie I was going to write, but better (as Jess put it). I did see a bit of myself in the movie, but only because it was funny and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character listened to The Smiths. Nothing really past that. And I’m also very glad that I saw this right after G.I Joe, which quickly restored my faith in Mr. Gordon-Levitt. Had I seen the movies the other way around, I’d start referring to him as simply, “that guy from 3rd Rock From the Sun.”
But now that the movie has been out for a while, I’ve been hearing a lot of, “I thought of you when I was watching 500 Days of Summer!” And for a while there I thought yeah, the movie is right up my alley, thank you for associating me with good cinema. Now I realize that that it was Gordon-Levitt’s character that reminded them of me. Friends, ex-girlfriends, and even my own fucking dad said so.
I love her smile. I love her hair. I love her knees. I love how she licks her lips before she talks. I love her heart-shaped birthmark on her neck. I love it when she sleeps.
And what are the similarities between me and JGL’s character, Tom? Well the sweater vest thing obviously. He is a sharp dresser for sure. I only own one sweater vest but apparently that’s the one item in my wardrobe that stands out the most, apparently. We both like The Smiths, because we like music that isn’t shit. The only problem is that Summer Finn likes them too, and we all know that in real life you are more likely to meet a Polish holocaust survivor before you meet a Morrissey fan… at least in America.And of course the Tom is also from NJ, which is probably why everyone saw the connection between me and him less than five minutes into the movie.
The emotional side of Tom though, is where it gets interesting. Tom believes in fate in the sense that the stars will align and the girl of your dreams will suddenly appear and everything will be sunshine and rainbows. This is partially true, because I mean if there’s anything you can take away from listening to Morrissey, it’s that love has to exist, because he wouldn’t be so miserable if it didn’t. Tom went to school to become an architect but works at a greeting card company. When asked about this, he replies, “I guess I just figured, why make something disposable like a building when you can make something that last forever, like a greeting card.” So Tom uses smart ass remarks as a defense mechanism… something I am guilty of 100% of the time.
Just because she’s likes the same bizzaro crap you do doesn’t mean she’s your soul mate.
But when you really get down to it, Tom is full of faults. He falls for a girl who doesn’t believe in love, yet is shocked when she pulls the rug out from under him and ends the relationship. And in a matter of months she’s engaged to someone else. And he gets depressed, and blames her for all the bad things that happen in the world, and mopes around. And yet even though he did leave a positive lasting impression, he ultimately gets left behind. And all the while, he needs to get advice from his 13-year-old sister. He brought to the table only his best, just to rejected in the end. He does not understand that people, especially women, are never what they seem and will not always turn out to be your soul mate.
And that’s what gets me the most. This guy is supposed to be me. Do the people who saw this movie really see me as a miserable, sarcastic, delusional wannabe hipster that believes in fairy tale endings? Probably. I mean, I know I am but I thought I did a very good job at hiding it. Apparently everyone has seen through my ruse.
Oh my God, she’s right. Why did I turn off Allison Portchnik? She was beautiful, she was willing. She was real intelligent. Is it the old Groucho Marx joke that I’m – I just don’t want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member?
But there is one big difference between me and both 500 Days and Annie Hall: how everything ends. Tom moves on from Summer but then takes another wild swing at the idea of destiny with someone else. Alvy Singer reminisces with Annie and realizes that there may never be another woman like her in his life, but he must press on. But with me, I fall somewhere in between. I used to believe in destiny. I’ve met some great girlfriends through very interesting circumstances. I began taking the Alvy Singer approach when I broke up with those great girlfriends and realized that I was my own worst enemy and may never get a shot at redemption. But now, I don’t really believe in anything, so I suppose that makes me emotionally agnostic.
I feel that life is divided into the horrible and the miserable. That’s the two categories. The horrible are like, I don’t know, terminal cases, you know, and blind people, crippled. I don’t know how they get through life. It’s amazing to me. And the miserable is everyone else. So you should be thankful that you’re miserable, because that’s very lucky, to be miserable.
I really can’t denounce people seeing a correlation between me and Tom. But it’s kind of ironic that when I left the theater, I thought about what I had seen, turned to Jess and said, “Summer reminded me of ******.”